More homes going on the market in Southern California, especially in Orange County

Home Sales

Christopher Okula/KPCC

“There are sellers who are too overzealous,” said Steven Thomas. “They heard buyers will pay just about anything and that’s just not correct.”

Over the past three months, the number of homes for sale increased by almost 40 percent in Orange County, twice as much as the rest of Southern California, according to Steven Thomas, who writes the Orange County Housing Report.

Thomas says inventory has increased by about 27 percent in Los Angeles county.

He credits rising home values, which means fewer people are “upside-down” in their mortgages, owing more than their house is worth.

“When you put all these pieces together it’s like an invitation to people that have been sitting, stuck in their homes, not wanting to sell at a low for a very long time,” said Thomas.

But sellers shouldn’t get too giddy, or greedy. Thomas says he’s seeing a lot of homes sit on the market because they’re priced too high.

“There are sellers who are too overzealous,” said Thomas. “They heard buyers will pay just about anything and that’s just not correct.”

Even with many more homes for sale, Thomas says inventory is still very low compared with historic levels.

He expects it to stay low because many homeowners re-financed with interest rates considerably lower than what’s available now. 

Irvine, Ladera Ranch, and Brea have seen some of biggest increases in housing inventory in Orange County.

It’s a different story in Santa Ana and Seal Beach, where supply has dropped over the past three months.

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